The Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, has refuted claims that the various teacher unions in the country were not engaged in wider consultation on the major policy change of trimester to a semester academic calendar.
This comes after the unions in education jointly released a statement, claiming that they were not consulted on the new academic calendar.
The groups, namely Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Coalition of Concerned Teachers-Ghana (CCT-GH) and Teachers and Education Workers Union (TEWU), stated emphatically that at no point in time were they consulted on such a major policy decision.
The statement noted that the “hours workers in Education require to work per day and per week have been a bother to Unions, especially when instructional and working hours have been increased unilaterally without discussions and negotiations, especially with the Unions in Education.”
It added: “Per our Collective Agreement with regards to our working Conditions, major policies such as this should come for discussion and negotiation and as Educators and speaking from a professional point of view, through discussion will bring to the fore the effects of a long school calendar on both teaching and learning and also on the health of both workers and learners.”
The groups see the decision supposedly taken unilaterally to change the school calendar into a semester one as arbitrary and an imposition by the GES on major stakeholders in the education sector.
“We therefore call on GES to immediately withdraw the policy, pending full consultations with the Unions in Education and other stakeholders, and do serve notice that failure to do so would be resisted fiercely,” the statement warned.
However, Dr Adutwum has maintained that the Ghana Education Service (GES) consulted the unions in education on the new academic calendar.
“I’ve spoken with the Deputy Director of GES and he said they’ve finished consulting them (Unions in Education). When they (GES) came to me, they came with the concerns of the unions,” he said in a radio interview in responding to the claims. .
“I confirmed with the Deputy Director General, who said the meeting was chaired by my Deputy and that they brought them in. So, I don’t understand; things happen in Ghana. I don’t mind consultation, but that is what my people are telling me,” he stated.